It has been such a fantastic experience to be able to spectate, and enjoy this incredible regatta. Billowing sails framed by azure skies. Timeless beauties cutting their way through turquoise seas. You can’t get a more idyllic setting. There are many opportunities to charter your own classic yacht, so instead of spectating from the sideline, make your dreams come true, and get out on the water and be part of the action.
Two classics completing Race 2, The Butterfly
It was great to have the opportunity of meandering around the Antigua Yacht Club Marina to view some of the spectacular yachts. The variety of classic yachts is astonishing, and it was fantastic to be able to appreciate and see the exquisite workmanship up close. The amount of work involved in maintaining and cleaning these yachts is simply mind-boggling.
The classic yachts make a stunning sight
With sails carefully packed in their assigned bags, and ropes tidied away, it is hard to believe that these yachts were battling it out on the sea earlier in the day. I don’t think I’ve used the term, ‘ship-shape and Bristol fashion’, in a more fitting way! Ticonderoga of Greenwich, and Jonathan, are two stunning examples of the passion and attention that goes into keeping these historic yachts in such pristine condition.
The morning of Sunday 22nd saw the start of Race 4, The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Race. Kenny Coombs was one of the founders of the Antigua Classic Regatta, as well as helping to develop the Spirit of Tradition class, which is now embraced all over the world.
Yachts jostling for space at the start of the race
Impressive and eye-catching sails
The competitors make a impressive sight as they race around the marker at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour
The Classic Yacht Parade is the ideal opportunity to find out more about the individual yachts, as there is a running commentary . The commentator certainly keeps things entertaining, not that you would have a chance to get bored as the yachts parade into English Harbour.
Petrana, measures 50 feet, and was built in 1968. Her patriotic owner, Paul Deeth, flies the flag for Antigua! Petrana, has remarkably remained in ownership with the same family since built, and celebrates her 50th birthday this year. She remains in first place for the Classic GRP, with one more race to go tomorrow.
Free in St Barth, is a Alwyn Enoe Carriacou Sloop and is 42 feet. She was built in 2015, in the traditional Carriacou way, and can achieve impressive speeds.
Columbia, still impressive, even with the sails down! Despite her classic look, she is only nine years old, and was completed in 2009, taking only three years to build. She is the childhood dream come true, for owner Brian D’Isenia, of the USA. She is as close a replica as possible to a Gloucester Fishing Schooner, and at 141 feet, she is certainly impressive.
With many classic yachts available to charter, whatever your experience, there is no excuse not to get out on the water and start making your own memories , and maybe even win a few races yourself!
For those of you who get swept away with the romance of being on a classic yacht, there are lots of classics that are also ideal to charter for the more relaxing holiday experience. With luxurious interiors, plenty of toys to keep you busy, as well as crew to meet your every need, you can pretend you are living out your own real-life fantasy aboard your yacht.
By Laura Barber